A gift in memory to the life of someone special is a thoughtful way to pay tribute to a loved one while providing support to the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Celebration benches may also be set up in recognition of a special event or occasion such as a wedding or a birth.
The Gardens Celebration Bench Fund
The Gardens Celebration Bench Fund allows you to sponsor a bench that features a commemorative plaque. Minimum donation amounts are listed in the relevant policy, but donations of all amounts are gratefully received.
Please call (02) 6250 9588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries about the Gardens Celebration Bench Fund.
Section 9.6 of the ANBG Plan of Management provides for a scheme to encourage people to donate funds to place a celebration bench within the Gardens.
- The plaques are made of brass, 12cm x 4cm in size, fixed to the centre of the headrest. The suggested design of the wording is provided on the Celebration Bench Donation form.
- The ANBG Manager Major Projects will determine the design of the bench in line with the current outdoor furniture style. In the event of a bench being damaged or defaced, the plaque will be placed on a new or alternative bench in the same location (or at least close by).
- The Gardens will endeavour to place a new bench at a location of your choice, depending on installation, maintenance and planning considerations. The exact location cannot be guaranteed for the duration of the donation, but a sympathetic relocation is ensured and if possible, will be discussed with the donor.
- Celebration benches will be cared for during the 10 year sponsorship with an annual review of the condition of each bench. Should a bench need to be replaced during that period, the plaque will be placed on the new bench and a letter/email sent to the contact address on file.
- Plaques are guaranteed to remain on the bench for a minimum of 10 years. At the end of the donation period, the ANBG will endeavour to contact the donor to determine if an extension is wanted .Donors are asked to ensure that the contact details are updated, so that they can be informed of any changes to their sponsored Bench / Setting and to allow staff from the gardens to discuss their wishes as their sponsored period comes to an end.
Costs are as follows:
- 10-year donation: $5000
- 25-year (generational) donation: $10,000
The costs cover the plaque and the purchase of a new bench if necessary.
For further information, please call (02) 6250 9588 or email email@example.com.
Although the ANBG has had a relatively short history, there are a number of memorials, commemorative building names and plaques on the site.
To honour Joseph Banks in 1988
Following a suggestion from Mrs Ann Moyal, author of two books on the history of science in Australia, the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society of London agreed to support jointly a memorial to Sir Joseph Banks to mark his contribution to the development of science in Australia and to celebrate the continuing links between Australia and the United Kingdom in the plant sciences.
The memorial took the form of a bust of Banks located at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and a plaque fixed to the Banks building at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Australian National Botanic Gardens provided a superb setting for the bust which is surrounded with some of the plants associated with Banks. It is located adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre at the Gardens.
The sculpting of the bust was undertaken by Mrs Ninon Geier, a Canberra sculptor, who was assisted in her researches by Mrs Moyal.
The sculpture was unveiled at a ceremony at the ANBG on 25 April 1988
The building in named in honour of Joseph Banks (1743-1820).
The Joseph Banks Building houses the Gardens' Centre for Horticultural Training, and is a focus for a wide range of community education activities. Its glasshouse and part of the associated garden area is used by the Growing Friends group for their propagation programs.
The Building was originally opened as 'The Banksia Centre' by Mrs Tammie Fraser, wife of the then Prime Minister, in July 1982.
It was originally a specialist facility providing horticultural training only to people with disabilities. But with changing community attitudes towards isolating the disabled, and following extensive public consultation, its role was changed so that the training activities for people with disabilities could be integrated with those of the wider community.
The name 'Banksia Centre' also carried the connotation that the building had some special role in growing banksias, often leading to confusion among visitors. The name was changed in 1995.
The building contains an activity room, a glass-house and administration office. The building, and the adjacent garden, has been designed for maximum access by people with a range of disabilities.
Plaque to honour Dr Robert Boden (1935-2009) and first Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 1979–1989
Photo of Robert Boden when he became Director of the Gardens in 1979.
On 13 June 2005 the ANBG honoured its first Director, Dr Robert Boden with a plaque unveiled in a celebration one week after his 70th birthday.
This memorial to the botanist Dr Nancy T. Burbidge takes the form of a small amphitheatre located in the eucalypt lawn of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra.
The memorial was opened in the presence of Her Excellency, Lady Cowen, C.St J. on 14 September 1980.
The amphitheatre is used as an open-air classroom and meeting place for students and other groups and is designed to assist in the education, conservation and scientific functions of the Gardens. It has seating capacity for about sixty people.
The memorial was proposed by the:
- Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association, ACT
- National Parks Association of the ACT
- Royal Society of Canberra
- Australian Federation of University Women, and
- Australian Systematic Botany Society
The Canberra National Memorials Committee, chaired by the Rt Honourable J. M. Fraser, CH, MP, Prime Minister of Australia, approved the proposal as a fitting memorial to Dr Burbidge's outstanding contribution to Australian botany.
Construction was funded by the organisations that initiated the proposal, together with other friends and colleagues of Dr Burbidge.
The jarrah timber used in the lectern was donated by Mr and Mrs D. Cullity, of Perth, in recognition of Dr Burbidge's Western Australian background.
(This lectern was removed in about 1990 to allow for a wider range of uses for the Memorial)
Colin Barnard, 1954
In the Australian National Botanic Gardens, about five metres downhill from the Nancy Burbidge Amphitheatre is a large Tallowwood, Eucalyptus microcorys. In the shade of that tree, on its lower side, in the adjacent bed (Section 37), is a plaque commemorating Dr Colin Barnard MBE, DSc (1904-1974).
The plaque was placed in position in May 1992.
Barnie, as he was known, spent almost the whole of his working life with CSIRO. In 1927 he joined what was then the Division of Economic Botany of CSIR and was seconded to the Commonwealth Research Station at Merbein, Victoria, and later transferred to Canberra. He studied growth and production in grape vines and developed a system for forecasting yield. He also worked on decline and dieback in apples.
In 1935 he assisted Dr. B. T. Dickson with his Report proposing the establishment of a botanic gardens in Canberra, and took the photos included with that report.
During World War II Dr Barnard was in charge of the production of exotic plants by CSIR to supply drugs such as morphine, hyoscine, strychnine and quinine. Later his group investigated native plants, such as Duboisia, of pharmacological and insecticidal value as possible substitutes for, or alternative sources of, imported drugs. L.J. Webb, later an authority on rainforest ecology, was appointed to expand the collection of native plant species.
In 1944 Dr Barnard approached the CSIR Division of Industrial Chemistry for assistance in research on the alkaloids from Australian native plants. Dr J.R. Price who was appointed for this work later became Chairman of CSIRO. When the war was over and the urgency for drug production was reduced, it was accepted that exploring the chemical and pharmacological potential of the flora of Australia and Papua and New Guinea was a worthwhile contribution to the mapping of Australia's natural resources. Hence a collaboration between CSIRO and chemists in universities developed into the Australian Phytochemical Survey. It continued for about 25 years to the early 1970s.
In 1951 Dr Barnard had turned his attention to a detailed study of the growth of floral parts in wheat plants and later to a systematic study of all the monocotyledons. He established the Herbage Plant Registration Authority and as its Registrar was responsible for preparing authoritative descriptions, origins and identification of all herbage plant cultivars registered in Australia.
In 1964 Dr Barnard edited the book Grasses and Grasslands which covered the accumulated knowledge of Divisional research staff on the biology of grasses and on the problems of pasture establishment, maintenance and improvement.
Based on an article by Bernard Fennesy for the Friends of the ANBG, 2002.
In 1949 an evening phone call from Lindsay Pryor to Prime Minister Ben Chifley was all it took to arrange an official tree planting at the Botanic Gardens a couple of days later.
On 12 September 1949 during a visit by an international delegation of foresters, the Australian National Botanic Gardens were 'officially' started with the planting of an oak and a eucalypt by the Director of Kew Gardens, Sir Edward Salisbury, and the Prime Minister of Australia, Ben Chifley.
The Canberra Times next day reported that Chifley planted the eucalypt and Salisbury planted the oak. This became the accepted wisdom for many years.
The oak, the tree actually planted by Chifley, was moved as a mature plant to Commonwealth Park in the late 1960s as it was considered inappropriate for a 'native' Gardens. It later died.
The plaque next to the Eucalyptus mannifera was placed there in the 1980s, the original plaque stating that Chifley planted the eucalypt. This plaque was replaced by the current one when the above photo came to light clearly showing Chifley planting the oak.
In the 1980s the eucalypt was in serious danger of dying due to the surrounding soil and mulch being piled to deep at its base where it was rotting. Considerable tree surgery was undertaken to save the tree.
Dot was a mentor to many, particularly to our younger executive assistants. In her honour, the executive assistant's network Expand has established a Dot Fitzpatrick Memorial Award for Executive Assistant mentoring.
Dot Fitzpatrick was born on 25 February 1949, she died on 16 July 2012.
She was Administrative Assistant to the Director of National Parks, the position occupied at that time by Peter Cochrane, the person ultimately responsible for the Australian National Botanic Gardens within the Australian Government bureaucracy.
A ceremony commemorating her life was held on the Eucalypt Lawn of the Australian National Botanic Gardens on Tuesday 24 July 2012. Many of Dot's family, friends and colleagues gathered together to share their memories of her humour, great support and kindnesses.
On 9 November 2012 a plaque was placed on a rock next to the pool at the Rock Garden, Section 15.
George spent much of his later life working on the eucalypts, and it is fitting that a memorial to him should be placed on the Gardens' Eucalypt Lawn.
On 6 June, 2010, a memorial service was held at the Gardens, where his wife Thelma unveiled a plaque in his memory.
Photo of George Chippendale in April 2001.
The Environment Education Centre at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra has been officially named the Crosbie Morrison Building, to honour Philip Crosbie Morrison's enormous contribution to natural history education. The building was opened by the Hon Ros Kelly, Minister for the Environment, at a ceremony at the Gardens on 1 September 1992. Lucy Crosbie Morrison, the wife of the late Philip, was a special guest at the ceremony.
The Centre is used to provide classroom facilities for many of the 10,000 students who visit the Gardens each year and is a venue for community groups with an interest in Australia's natural history. A small and a large indoor classroom are complemented by a small outdoor amphitheatre facing a lawn area and pools where aquatic biology can be studied.
The Friends of the ANBG, established only two years earlier, contributed funds to the landscaping of the Crosbie Morrison Building. Their contribution was marked with a small plaque.
The original plaque included a photograph of Crosbie Morrison smoking his landmark pipe. Pressure from the anti-smoking lobby saw the plaque replaced with a non-pipe-smoking photo in view of the role of the Centre as a childrens' educational facility.
Dr B.T.Dickson (left) and John Wrigley, the then Curator of the Gardens (right), at the opening ceremony for the Gardens in 1970.
The naming of this room honours Dr B.T. Dickson who prepared the Report suggesting the establishment of the Botanic Gardens on its current site. The proposal for naming the room was made by Dr Robert Boden, and it was approved by the then ACT Memorials Committee.
In July 1933 there was a recommendation to the Minister of the Interior from the Federal Territory Advisory Council
"that a start be made with laying out portion of the site set apart for the Botanical Gardens and of planting same with native and exotic trees, shrubs and plants of economic value as distinct from those grown for ornamental purposes only."
It was Dr Bertram Dickson, Head of the Division of Plant Industry at the newly established Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR now CSIRO) who was co-opted to examine the proposal and report on its feasibility.
For more than a year Dickson, assisted by Colin Barnard, also of CSIR Plant Industry, gathered information about botanic gardens around the world. On 4 September 1935 Dickson submitted his report to the Advisory Council. It was accompanied by a set of photos taken by Barnard.
Dickson went back to Walter Burley Griffin's plans for Canberra's gardens and endorsed some elements of them. He selected the present site on the lower slopes of Black Mountain, although his proposal envisaged an area three times the size of the present Gardens. He also located it adjacent to both the proposed University and the research laboratories of the CSIR, for he certainly saw a scientific role for the Gardens:
"The authorities would be well advised to plan the proposed gardens at Canberra so that they are developed with a balance between the scientific and the aesthetic, and certainly not to the neglect of the scientific phase."
Dickson promoted the use of native plants, which, considering his recent arrival as an immigrant from Canada in 1927, was quite innovative for the 1930s. He was already referring to 'our' flora:
"Many of our native plants are eminently suited to garden and landscape treatment and this is well recognised abroad for one may read in catalogues of highly prized plants originally obtained from the Australian flora."
"All plants and trees of the Australian flora which are found to be hardy should be grown"
The Dickson Room
The Dickson Room is opposite the ANBG's Theatrette and is used for meetings and functions. It has an attached kitchenette. It is part of the Visitor Centre which was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1985.
In 1997 the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service received a bequest from the estate of the late Anne Heather Ducrou. Money from the bequest was used to support wildlife research and to construct a much needed pavilion in the Gardens.
Construction began early in 1999 and the finished pavilion was formally opened on 15 October 1999.
The Pavilion is sited on the Eucalypt Lawn just below the Nursery and adjacent to the Main Path. The building acts as a wet weather shelter for picnickers and is used for some special events.
The designer of the Pavilion was Malcolm Monro and Associates Pty Ltd, they worked hard to ensure that the building did not 'swamp' the special character of the Lawn. The Pavilion features a series of roofs supported by columns abstract 'trees' which help reinforce the importance of real trees to the Gardens' landscape. A special feature is a windscreen constructed of laser cut metal depicting a 'treescape' and some of the Gardens' wildlife.
The Franklin Building at the Australian National Botanic Gardens was built in 1990 to house the newly-established Environment Resources Information Network (ERIN) and was initially referred to as the ERIN Building. From 1992 it housed the Australian Biological Resources Survey (ABRS), which publishes the Flora of Australia and the Fauna of Australia as well as a range of other publishing and grant-giving activities.
In the early 1990s the building was named the Franklin Building in honour of Sir John Franklin and his wife Lady Jane Franklin, both of whom fostered scientific endeavour in Australia during their residence in Tasmania from 1837-1843.
The link with Tasmania is significant as the Franklin Building is adjacent to two of the Tasmanian flora sections in the Botanic Gardens.
There is a second, less significant but interesting link, in that the logo of the ABRS incorporated a stylised representation of a platypus which the staff had nicknamed "Franklin" in the early 1980s when the proposed damming of the Franklin River in Tasmania (also named for Sir John) was a controversial conservation issue.
ABRS staff vacated the Franklin Building in 2014 and the space was made available for commercial rental.
Australian Prime Minister John Gorton formally opened the Canberra Botanic Gardens, later the Australian National Botanic Gardens, on 20 October 1970.
The ceremony took place in what is now the middle level of the northern public car-park (Section 169).
The plaque was unveiled on a temporary plinth built for the ceremony, and later moved to the curved wall by the stairs in Section 66. In 1999 it was moved to its present site near the waterfall on 'Banks Walk' in Section 210.
John Gorton was Prime Minister of Australia from 10 January 1968 – 10 March 1971.
About John Gorton (1911-2002)
John Gorton opening the Gardens, with wife Betina in the background.
Before opening the Gardens John Gorton visited the Display Room, now the northern end of the Ellis Rowan Building.
Dr B.T.Dickson who wrote the report initiating the Gardens in 1935 (left) and John Wrigley, the then Curator of the Gardens (right), at the opening ceremony in 1970.
The dais set up for the speeches at the opening ceremony in the lower level of the old car-park. The temporary plinth is on the right.
A marquee was set up near the main entrance gate for refreshments.
On 18 June 2004 the ANBG Production Nursery was officially opened by Gary Humphries, Senator for the Australian Capital Territory.
Senator Gary Humphries, with Gardens Director Robin Nielsen and Dept of Environment and Heritage Secretary David Borthwick
On Sunday 22 October 1995, a special ceremony was held to honour Lindsay Pryor as the 'founding father' of the Gardens.
As the Canberra Times reported the following day:
"A large group had gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, the 50th year since the first unofficial plantings, the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of the Friends of the Gardens, and to celebrate the 80th birthday of Lindsay Pryor"
The ceremony, with a range of speakers, was held in the Crosbie Morrison Building in the presence of Lindsay Pryor. It was organised by the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Pouring rain marred the event, but during a lull, all those present walked up to Section 5 in a procession under umbrellas. There Dr Lawrie Johnson, representing the scientific botanical community, unveiled a plaque recognising Lindsay Pryor's contribution to the foundation and development of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The plaque was fixed to a rock placed beneath a Eucalyptus pryoriana tree, a species that Lawrie Johnson had described to honour Lindsay Pryor and his contributions to the understanding of the genus Eucalyptus.
In 1996 the name of this taxon was changed to Eucalyptus viminalis subsp. pryoriana by Ian Brooker and Andrew Slee, both then at the Australian National Herbarium.
Unfortunately on Wednesday 19 February 2014 this tree was blown down in a severe storm. It was the only representative of this taxon in the Botanic Gardens at the time.
On Thursday 31 October 2013 the Red Centre Garden was officially opened at a ceremony starting at 10.30 am.
The Master of Ceremonies was the Gardens' Director, Dr Judy West, with key-note speeches from the Director of National Parks, Peter Cochrane, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham, following a 'welcome to country' smoking ceremony conducted by Aboriginal elder Aunty Jannette Phillips.
Senator Birmingham said in his speech:
"This garden has been three years in the design and making. It's a major new development for our national botanic gardens and a new tourism attraction for the Capital.
"In a first for Canberra, the garden features the arid landscapes and iconic plants of Central Australia. It's great to be here today and see the striking red sand, dunes and rocks and desert trees and plants.
"I'm really looking forward to coming back in 12 months' time and seeing this arid landscape taking shape, with the classic trees and shrubs of our country's heart broken up by a creek bed and a carpet of desert wildflowers. You'll be able to get a unique sense that you're on a trek through Central Australia itself, while standing at the foot of Black Mountain.
"I congratulate the Gardens and their staff on their passion and spirit. This is a place that continues to inspire, inform and connect people to the native plants of our country. Where else in Australia can you see so many tens of thousands of Australian plants, and walk from the Tasmanian garden up through the tropical rainforests past the alpine plants to the Red Centre.
"What a great gift to celebrate the centenary of Canberra. There's nothing more appropriate to the bush capital than a garden that celebrates our country's diverse and fascinating landscapes."
Following his speech Senator Birmingham formally opened the Garden.
The building is named in honour of Ellis Rowan (1848-1922), a distinguished wildflower painter.
This building was the first to be built on the Botanic Gardens site in 1966. It then housed the administration offices as well as the original Herbarium. In 1970 the horticultural research laboratory was added, completing the architect's original design for the southern 'raised roof' part of the building. All of these functions have moved to more recently constructed buildings.
It now houses the interpretive and public relations units of the ANBG; the Australian Biological Resources Survey ABRS, together with their graphics and illustration studio.
The Visitor Information Centre at the Australian National Botanic Gardens was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales at a ceremony at 10 am on Thursday 7 November 1985.
The Royal couple were met by the Honourable Gordon Scholes, Minister for Territories; Mr J.D. Enfield, Secretary of the Department of Territories; and Dr Robert Boden, Director of the Gardens accompanied by his wife.
The public and selected school children were invited to attend.
At the time of the opening of the Visitor Centre, the Australian National Botanic Gardens released a cultivar, Helichrysum bracteatum 'Princess of Wales', a particularly good horticultural form of what later became Bracteantha bracteatum, now known as Xerochrysum bracteatum.
Canberra Times Supplement
A Royal Visit Souvenir supplement to the Canberra Times was inserted into that day's edition. It had been printed several days earlier.
Extract from the Canberra Times Supplement on 7 November 1985:
The newly-opened Visitor Information Centre heralds a new era for the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
The Centre, built in a post-modern architectural style, was designed by leading Melbourne architect, Peter Crone, and built by Costain Australia Ltd for the National Capital Development Commission.
The Centre occupies a prominent site near the Garden's entrance and is close to the new carpark extensions. It provides an introduction to the Gardens and a starting point for most visitors and for Ranger-guided tours. It is fully accessible to disabled people.
Landscaping around the Centre mirrors the use of natural stone in other areas of the Gardens. The use of sloping retaining walls is a conscious reference to the work of Walter Burley Griffin.
A large pond, which will eventually have a water cascade feeding into it, will feature native aquatic plants.
The Visitor Services Officer for the Gardens, Mr Murray Fagg, said a new information centre had been vital to cater for the increasing number of visitors to the Gardens.
'The old display area did not provide the space we needed to present regular exhibitions on native plant topics and provide other services to the public,' he said.
The lecture theatre, seating 100 people, will serve many functions. Mr Fagg said it would be used by educational groups, for small scientific conferences and to show environmental films.
It will be available by arrangement for groups such as garden clubs when they visit the Gardens.
Administration facilities will be housed upstairs above the lecture theatre. The provision of space for the Plant Sciences Library of the Gardens is also part of the present building program.
The Centre has been equipped with two exhibition spaces. One of these will be used to house permanent introductory displays while the other will be used for changing exhibitions. The first exhibition features the floral emblems of Australia, looking not only at their botany and horticulture but also their use as cultural motifs, both past and present.
The introductory displays include a model of the Gardens including the extension to the south, a random access vegetation slide series and a short video on the Gardens. A reading area with reference books enables visitors to read more about the plants and birds they have seen in the Gardens.
Visitors will be able to browse around the Gardens' bookshop which will contain a range of reference books of botanical and horticultural interest. The bookshop will not be operating when the Centre is officially opened on 7 November but it is hoped that it will open soon after.
The bookshop has perhaps the best view of any room in the Gardens and people gain a panoramic view of Lake Burley Griffin from this vantage point.
A special new 'public' herbarium is another feature of the Centre. This will house a collection of pressed flowering plant specimens for public access. Reference books and a microscope will be housed in this area where people wanting to identify native plants will be assisted.
A horticultural advisor is on duty to assist with public inquiries during the week, while other Gardens staff will be in the Centre on weekends.
Mr Fagg said the number of inquiries 'has increased steadily over the past five years and it is now necessary to have one staff member to answer these inquiries and give advice on native plants and gardening.'
The Princess of Wales, Dr Robert Boden, Anne Boden, and the Prince of Wales in the Visitor Centre.
Rock Garden Lawn
Located beside the Main Path near the Rock Garden, beside a spacious lawn, is a fine example of an armillary sphere sundial. Made from silicon bronze, the sphere is 0.5m in diameter, and is mounted on a rock for easy reading. An adjacent plaque gives the time correction needed and instructions for reading the sundial. The precise geographic coordinates for the dial are Latitude 35° 16' 45" S, Longitude 149° 06' 26" E.
The dial was presented by the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens in November 1999 and was made and installed by Sundials Australia in Adelaide. The dial is shown on the Visitor Guide map of the Gardens and is about 300m north of the Visitor Centre. The walk to the summit of Black Mountain starts nearby.
Armillary sphere sundials, modeled on the celestial or terrestrial sphere, are constructed from three or more interlocking rings which provide support for the rod-like gnomon, which forms the axis of the sphere, and casts the time-telling shadow on the equatorial ring. In the case of the ANBG sundial this equatorial ring interlocks with a meridian and polar ring.
The equatorial ring carries hour lines marked at 10 minute intervals from 5a.m. to 7 p.m., the approximate time (Australian Eastern Standard Time) of earliest sunrise and latest sunset respectively in Canberra. The gnomon is set at an angle of 35° to the horizontal (corresponding to the latitude of Canberra) so that its upper end points at the South Celestial Pole.
Another fine armillary sphere in Canberra can be seen in the north corner of Parliament Drive outside Parliament House.
Located in the Banks Centre Garden.
About Margaret Wallner
Margaret Wallner was born at Moruya on 27 July 1933 and grew up at Roseville NSW.
Her mother was well informed botanically and spent many hours in the bush with her children, thus began the love of bush which remained with Margaret until her death.
Margaret had prolonged chemotherapy in 1991-92, which hastened her retirement from Medical Practice, and, during this period, she decided to become a volunteer Guide at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. In spite of the great demands the training made upon her during this period of debilitation, Margaret succeeded in completing the course.
Following her recovery Margaret became very involved with the Botanic Gardens, obtaining and giving a great deal of pleasure during the next 6 years until her death in August 1998.
About the Artist: David Appel
In his own words:
I was born 3/5/71 in Canberra. Margaret Wallner was my aunty. I've studied Fine Arts in Sydney and Tasmania and spent some years focussing on Recycling. In Tasmania I helped set up a recycling Co-op called Resource work Co-Op Pty-Ltd, and I made and designed furniture from recycled materials in Canberra recently under the business name of Spunkyjunk. I have been selling from The Terrace in Kingston and stores in Sydney and doing other personally commissioned works such as beds and gates. The Gates of Casey House in Yarralumla were designed and built by me.
I'm currently studying in Newcastle to become a Design and Technology High School Teacher [August 2001].
The family commissioned me to build the chair since my Aunty was always so supportive of me. The Gum leaf theme was chosen after seeing some enormous gum leaves she had collected with her grandchildren in Perth some years back that they had kept.
The wood is an arid zone Casuarina, common name 'Desert Oak'. It is an enormously weather resistant and stable wood, it's got a gorgeous red colour and I was lucky enough to be able to get some of it from a local woodworker of international fame - Tom Rennie at Radcliffe near Queanbeyan 'Bowning Creations'. He cut and dried the wood himself in the Northern Territory and gave me plenty of good advice about its properties and my design as well as letting me use his workshop. Hopefully the chair will be comfy, durable and a delight to look at for all parties.
It will be kept oiled by family members.
Curator of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 1967–1981
Photo of John Wrigley in the Gardens in 1967.
Robert Boden, first ANBG Director (left), John Wrigley, first ANBG Curator (standing), David Shoobridge, then Director of Parks and Gardens John's farewell 1981
Ceremony for the John Wrigley plaque on 21 October 2005, near the Rock Garden waterfall
On 21 Oct 2005 the ANBG honoured its past Curator, John Wrigley, as part of the celebrations for the 35th anniversary of the official opening of the ANBG in 1970.
The Rock Garden where the plaque is located, along with the development of the Rainforest Gully, was a major achievement for John during his time at the Gardens. He went on to promote rock gardens and rockery plants in his many publications.